The 2020 Summer Olympics torch relay is finally underway. The Olympic flame, which was kindled in Olympia, Greece, on March 12, 2020, and transported to Japan on March 20, 2020, spent a year at the Olympic Museum in Tokyo after the Games were postponed due to the coronavirus. It began its 121-day journey from Fukushima to Tokyo's National Stadium — the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies — on March 25, 2021.
The countdown to Super Bowl LV (55) has begun! On February 7, 2021, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will battle it out for the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida. The National Football League's (NFL) championship game, which will pit the league's youngest Super Bowl–winning quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, against its most storied quarterback, Tom Brady, has already established numerous records.
Most people would shudder at the idea of getting caught up in a 73.5-foot wave. But for Brazilian pro-surfer Maya, it presented the perfect opportunity to break her 2018 world record for the largest wave surfed by a female. The athlete skillfully maneuvered the massive swell earlier this year, at the inaugural World Surf League (WSL) Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge in Praia do Norte, Portugal. It was the same site where she established her first world record by riding an equally-intimidating 68-foot wave.
Sports fans around the world are struggling to reconcile with the sudden loss of American basketball icon Kobe Bryant. The 41-year-old died on January 26, 2020, when his private helicopter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California — about 30 miles away from Los Angeles. The crash also killed the chopper's eight other occupants — Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna, her middle school basketball assistant coach Christina Mauser, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.
Though thousands of adventurers have scaled Mount Everest, the highest and most famous of the world's 14 tallest mountains, only 40 climbers have conquered them all. Located in Asia's Himalayan and Karakoram ranges, the "eight-thousanders" each stand over 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) tall, above the so-called "death zone," where the amount of oxygen is insufficient to sustain human life for an extended period.
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge has been dominating the world marathon stage since winning the Chicago Marathon in 2014. In the years following, the elite runner has won every marathon he has participated in, including the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2018, Kipchoge made history when he crossed the finish line of the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:39, crushing the existing men's world record by a minute and 18 seconds. On October 12, 2019, the 34-year-old further cemented his legacy by running the 26.2 miles in Vienna, Austria in less than two hours, faster than any other person in history. His time of 1:59:40 required him to maintain an average pace of about 4:35 per mile!
Any doubt that Simone Biles is one of the greatest athletes of all time was laid to rest at the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. The 22-year-old dominated the competition, which took place from October 4 to October 13, 2019, winning gold in five of her six events. Biles' career total of 25 medals, 19 of which are gold, now exceed Belarus gymnast Vitaly Scherbo's 23 medals, making Biles the most decorated gymnast — male or female — at the World Championships.
Though Bianca Andreescu was expected to be a formidable opponent, it was Serena Williams who was favored to win the US Open Tennis Championships finals in New York City on September 7, 2019. The 37-year-old US tennis phenom is after all an experienced veteran, with 23 Grand Slam titles to her name. Meanwhile, prior to 2019, her 19-year-old challenger had never even reached the finals of the four prestigious tournaments — the US Open, the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the French Open — that comprise the Grand Slam. But in a true-life underdog story, Bianca managed to oust Serena with a resounding 6-3, 7-5 victory in less than two hours.